Monday, August 29, 2011

Deja Vu...All Over Again...

Two years ago, we had a bad summer drought.  No rain, from June to September.  
That was our first summer, living here.  The heat was bad.  We reached 68 days of 100+ temperature.

Now, we're sitting at 73 days of 100+.  And, more to come.  
Yesterday, we hit 112.  That tied the all time high, set back in 2000.  We remember that one, too.  We were helping our son-in-law put in a water line at their old place.  Not fun...

We have more and more deer come to the birdbaths and buckets.  Our neighbors are putting out water, too.  That helps some.  But, the heat has to be taking a toll on the wildlife as much as the plants and trees.

Water is the great relief.  We'll keep supplying it, the best we can.

Let's hope the heat subsides soon.  
And, let's also hope that we get some of that good old water from heaven.  
Let's hope this is my last whining post.

Stay Cool....Pray for Rain..

Thursday, August 25, 2011

We'll Take It....

Yes....that's RAIN!

A cloud came through a little while ago, and dropped .04 inches on our dusty area.
Not much.....not nearly enough.  But, hey....we'll take it.

That little bit, filled the rain barrels half full.  We need more barrels.......

Oh...we broke that record of 100+ days, yesterday.  70!
Today, thanks to the rain, we might not break the NEW record.  But, never fear.  Its days are surely numbered.  If not today, we'll break it tomorrow.

But, for now...I'm loving seeing a few puddles around.  And, the smell is wonderful.
We'll take it!

Stay cool....and keep on praying for rain.

Happy Gardening...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It Ain't Braggin', If It's True....

That's a saying we have in Texas.  Texans tend to be a proud bunch.'s true.  But, I don't think we're doing much braggin.  More like moaning.

We tied the record for 100 degree days, set way back in 1925.  Today, we'll probably set a new record.  Then tomorrow, break that one.  And, on and on and get the picture.

Just in case you wondered what our month has been like.  Last month wasn't much better.

And, it's not looking too good for the rest of the week.

This has to break sometime.  This kind of heat, and no rain, is taking a huge toll on this region.  Dead grass, struggling trees and wildlife, and people's homes going up in flames. 

Davy Crockett once told someone 'You can go to Hell...I'm goin to Texas'.
This summer, it's been hard to tell the difference.

Stay cool....pray for rain.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hangin' in There....

Stay cool...pray for rain.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summer Showers....

 There's still some water here.

 A bath would feel good.


Wait.  What's that?

 She's watching!

Hmmph!  The gall of some people.

Oh...who cares?

It feels too good.


Stay cool....pray for rain.

Happy Gardening...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Foliage Follow-Up...August, 2011...

When you garden in Texas in summer, you know there won't be mounds of blooms.  So, your best bet is some good foliage.  And, your best bet is something that can stand the heat.

This year has been especially challenging.  Exceptional drought, plus long days of triple digit temperatures.
And, here at Patchwork Garden, it better be able to withstand the deer as well.

Agaves are pretty good at all of those challenges.  We have lots of Agave Lophantha, thanks to our neighbor, Elli.

I have learned that these agaves like to have a little shade.  The ones who have some, do better than the ones in the Rock Bed, with hard sun, six to eight hours a day.

That doesn't seem to bother the Prickly Pear and Mexican Feather Grass.  These are tough plants.  They get a drink every two to three weeks. 

I've moved a couple bunches of Prickly Pear over from the Deer Grove.  They were being hidden by the tall grasses growing there....except for this year.

The ones in the grove are doing alright, so far.

Jerusalem sage withstand the heat and drought.  Not as well as cactus, but it's doing ok, with a little water once a week.

Rosemary is tough, too.  Can stand the heat, drought and deer.  You see a lot of it around this neighborhood.

And, another popular plant for here is Yucca....all kinds.  The deer will eat the blooms, but they mostly leave the foliage alone.

And, Nandina....yes, I know, it's invasive.  I probably wouldn't have planted it myself.  But, it was here when we bought the house, and it is a tough, deer proof plant.  I've never seen them chomp this.  Of course, they might be eating everything by the time this drought is over.

It's not all desert landscape here, though.  Inside the fence, it's shadier and deer can't get to it.
Actually, it's sometimes sad, seeing them gaze longingly through the fence.
Even with shade and more watering, coleus may not be the best plant for this area.

Cuban Oregano adds some color and is holding up really well. 

Good old stand bys....Lamb's Ear and Purple Heart.

Sweet potato is good for covering a lot of space.  This is the first year I've had some come up from the year before.  Hope that happens again.

The cannas are doing good.  No new blooms, but the foliage makes up for that.

And, I couldn't garden without liriope and Aztec grass.  They're tough, too.  But, deer chomp them.

This liriope in the wall pocket on the deck, held up to last winter's freezing cold...a distant memory....and the withering heat of this summer.  An occassional drink is all it needs.

A Sanseveria holds up, in the shade of the porch.  It'll have to go inside this winter.

The cactus dish garden looks like it fits right in with our desert hot and dry.

This little guy must feel right at home.

If you want to see other foliage, head on over and visit Pam at Digging. for Foliage Follow-Up.

Stay cool...pray for rain.

Happy Gardening...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Garden Bloggers Bloomday...August, 2011... we are...the 15th of the month.  The day when gardeners all over join Carol at May Dreams Garden,  to see what is blooming in the garden.

It's been very hot and very dry, here in Central Texas.  So, there's not a lot of blooming going on here.

I was a bit surprised, though, when I went out to take photos.  There's more than I thought.

Our view out the back, and across the deck, is the Deer Grove.  It's pretty dried up.

If you look closely, you see some green.  This Prickly Pear is still green, even though it's had NO extra water....

Just over the edge is the creek.  The Euphorbia 'Snow on the Mountain' is blooming there.

Despite it's pretty face, this is one tough plant.  Like most euphorbias, the deer won't touch it.  That white latex sap is people, as well as animals.

And, it can thrive in this....almost solid rock and NO RAIN.  That's tough.

Over in the veggie garden, there are more blooms than veggies.  This narrow leaf zinnia has been pretty happy there.  I'm letting it set some seeds to save for next year.

The same with some of the regular zinnias that came up from last year. 

This cosmos reseeded itself.  The 'mother' plant has long died, but the babies are happily blooming.
I think I'll probably have zinnias and cosmos in the veggie garden for a long time.

One veggie is hanging in there....Okra.  It likes the heat, but hasn't grown as tall as usual.

And, I'm just letting the basil go ahead and bloom, too.  It's pretty, and we need some pretty.

Over in the fenced yard the Esperanza is finally putting on some small blooms.  It probably doesn't get enough sun.  But, at least it made it through the freezes of last winter.  Hope it lasts out the heat.

Mexican Petunia, ruellia, is holding strong.  I actually like this plant for the foliage, more than the flowers.  The blooms last one day and leave a mess.  But, I like it. 

A purslane in a container likes the heat.

And, in the same container, the Plumbago likes sun and heat, too.

And, Periwinkles are tough heat loving plants, too.  These in the front haven't been chomped, either...yet.

But, the big show is the Bougainvillea.  It got a bigger pot this year, and it seems to be really happy.

It makes us happy, too.

So, what's blooming in your garden? 

Stay cool....Pray for rain.

Happy Gardening...